ACL Live Shot: Iggy Azalea

Former Miami scavenger and underage immigrant lives the dream

At the close of the brightest summer of her career, Australian hip-pop diva Iggy Azalea presided over a dense, sunburned crowd Saturday afternoon at ACL Fest. Strutting center stage and flanked by a crew of dancers, the MC pulled from April debut The New Classic. Teenagers shunning each other in the audience rose on tip-toes to catch an eyeful.

The interpreter for festivalgoers with hearing impairments stole the show with rapid, calculated gesticulation and careless hip-shaking. Chains of blond teenage girls wove through the packed crowd like a jangly caterpillar as the Grand Hustle bombshell emptied her catalog from dance anthem “Bounce” to defiant “Don’t Need Y’all.” Count down to the song of the summer.

Grand Hustle bombshell Iggy Azalea (Photo by Gary Miller)

“I see a lot of ladies in the audience tonight. I hope I don’t offend anybody,” the rapper said coyly, launching into the raunchy “Pussy,” from her 2012 mixtape Ignorant Art. From the hands pumping in the air, even the dads were impossible to offend. The crowd hummed as DJ Wizz Kidd dropped the whimsical horn opening to Azalea’s summer megahit with Ariana Grande, “Problem.”

Autobiographical “Work” drew whoops of recognition (“Valley girls giving blow jobs for Louboutins/ What you call that? Head over heels?”). Before the festival circuits and Twitter feuds, the rapper scavenged on the streets of Miami as an underage immigrant with dreams of hip-hop royalty. She picked up mentor T.I.’s disarming Southern grace and habit for chart-topping earworms.

Bedlam struck with the opening beats of “Fancy.” Leading a mass of backup singers, the rapper blew through her cheeky verse with precision. If you couldn’t get it out of your head before, good luck now.

Read record review.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More ACL Fest
Police Chief: ACL Fest Will Be “Safest Part of the City”
Police Chief: ACL Fest Will Be “Safest Part of the City”
Shooting at Las Vegas festival prompts press conference on security

Kevin Curtin, Oct. 2, 2017

ACL Live Shot: Calvin Harris
ACL Live Shot: Calvin Harris
Scottish DJ demonstrates global demand

Luke Winkie, Oct. 13, 2014

More Iggy Azalea
The Blacker the Face
The Blacker the Face
A WWE-type gimmick further devalues rap music

Kahron Spearman, Nov. 25, 2014

Tell Me Who's Bad
Tell Me Who's Bad
Hip-pop "Royals" Lorde and Iggy do battle Down Under

Nina Hernandez, June 12, 2014

More by Nina Hernandez
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Indoor Skydiving Lets You Train Your Dragon in Virtual Reality
Taking to the skies with iFly's latest immersive VR

March 27, 2019

New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
New Study Changes City Council's View of Flood Risk
Puzzling over a variance on Avenue D, and spending the first of the 2018 bond funds

March 15, 2019


ACL Fest, Iggy Azalea, ACL Fest 2014, DJ Wizz Kidd, Ariana Grande, T.I., Grand Hustle Records

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle